Islander
Violence and Destruction


4.0
excellent

Review

by Teal USER (1 Reviews)
July 22nd, 2014 | 57 replies


Release Date: 07/08/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Victory Records finally stumbles upon a winner.

You probably have not heard of Islander - and that is unacceptable. Islander is a rising four-piece out of Greenville, South Carolina. On July 8th, 2014, the band released their debut full length, Violence & Destruction, on Victory Records. Unfortunately, the album has somewhat flown under the radar. This should not be the case because Islander has released a well-rounded album complete with strong songwriting, sincere lyrics, and a level of passion that is bound to catch on with the masses.

Musically, the band plays a brand of alternative metal derived from the play books of Deftones, Letlive., and Glassjaw. Like those groups, listeners are not going to be dazzled by frenzied fret board runs or exotic time signatures conceived from the aftermath of Yahtzee dice rolls. Instead, Islander keep the instrumentation relatively simple and prefer to groove with a certain amount of swagger not expected from a band with merely two EP’s under their belt. Fortunately for listeners, the quartet has more than enough songwriting chops and passion to keep things interesting.

“Counteract” opens the album in punishing fashion by mixing driving verses, a bouncy and commanding chorus, and a slow-burning bridge that barely manages to refrain from boiling over into chaos. “Pains” arrives later in the set and showcases the band at their darkest and most explosive as the song blasts from lurching, bleak verses to a sludgy chorus before folding into itself - think Deftones’ “Prince” meets Glassjaw’s “Stars” and you have “Pains”. Islander is not a one trick pony though as “Kingdom” and “New Wave” captures a more melodic side of the outfit. The former builds from a sparse beat and front man Mikey Carvajal’s hushed singing to a charging, half-screamed apex while the latter floats sleepily during the verses only to soar once the chorus washes over, capturing the crown as the most massive refrain on the record. Simply put, Islander has managed to meld melody with mayhem throughout Violence & Destruction and the result is a surprisingly engaging musical experience.

However, the most impressive aspect of Violence & Destruction is Carvajal’s lyrics, which are generally positive and uplifting in nature. For example, take the addictive first single “Coconut Dracula”, where the lyrics are centered on the concept of Count Dracula discovering a coconut on the ground only to take a bite of it and realize that there’s a sweeter side to life than hurting people. Count’s roommates - Frankenstein, Mummy, Werewolf, and Witch - are taken aback by the vampire’s actions and yearn to be less of a monster themselves. The lyrics are spoken from the Mummy’s perspective and the song’s message is summarized with the lines, “You’re not out for blood/You only want what’s beautiful/You’re in love with truth/I want to be someone more like you…” Carvajal’s words take a decidedly more pointed turn on the frenetic “Side Effects Of Youth” as he spits, “Hey, I get it/The sun has never seemed so bright/The colors never seemed so loud/And there’s so many pretty girls/I get it/But don’t forget who you are and who you were/Because if you put passion before principle/You’ll lose…” and “It’s just the side effects of youth that make you do those foolish things you do…” Perhaps the most concise delivery of the band’s overall message throughout the album appears during the last seconds of the title track and album closer, “Violence & Destruction”, when Carvajal sings, “Oh please cover me in light/I don’t feel so good/It won’t be long until the fires crash like waves against the sky/Rise up and speak/Let life in.”

Admittedly, Islander’s Violence & Destruction does not reinvent the wheel. The band shamelessly salutes their influences repeatedly throughout the record’s runtime and critics will be quick to point to this as the major blemish of the band’s debut full length. Yet, with varied, catchy songwriting and a positive message, Islander has crafted a sturdy foundation from which to develop their promising sound. Victory Records has finally stumbled upon a winner.


user ratings (41)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Teal
July 21st 2014


15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album was quite the pleasant surprise.

Listen:
"Coconut Dracula" - http://bit.ly/1iNAXwv
"The Sadness Of Graves" -http://bit.ly/QCKnhn

mawdicker411
July 21st 2014


55 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this band and album. Reminds me of old p.o.d at some points too. And blindside. Anyway, good review bro.

Digging: Project 86 - Knives to the Future

Teal
July 21st 2014


15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! Yeah, it was terribly easy to like this album and I think that's a big plus. Only "Kingdom" had to grow on me. Although, I never listen to "Mira" since it's an interlude.

I am really surprised this album isn't getting more attention.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
July 22nd 2014


6560 Comments


Coconut Dracula is a good song, will see if I can get around to listening to the rest of this.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Teal
July 22nd 2014


15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you like "Coconut Dracula", you'll like a majority of what these guys have to offer on this album. I say go for it.

Twelvetribes230
July 22nd 2014


110 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Solid album, but the singer either needs to stop trying to "rap" or get better at it. Also, he needs
to improve his lyrics. Once those thing are tacked I think I'll be able to get into this band.
Hopefully that happens by the next album because they have potential.

Funeralopolis
July 22nd 2014


11892 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

need to hear this, sounds right up my alley

Digging: Owen Pallett - In Conflict

dimsim3478
July 22nd 2014


5410 Comments


damn this looks cool yea

Digging: Full Of Hell and Merzbow - Full Of Hell & Merzbow

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 22nd 2014


16922 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Excellent first review!

Digging: Low Roar - 0

unromance
July 22nd 2014


89 Comments


Just previewed a few songs. Sounds right up my alley.

henryChinaski
July 22nd 2014


2847 Comments


Sweet artwork man. 'Coconut Dracula' is pretty great. I like their sound. Nice write-up!

Funeralopolis
July 22nd 2014


11892 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this rules

NightProwler
July 22nd 2014


6601 Comments


Good review, this sounds interesting. Pos'd.

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

ReAnimator
July 22nd 2014


328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, just can't believe you didn't mention Criminals (or the huge P.O.D. influence throughout!). I agree that these guys have a really solid foundation here. They're going to get big.

Digging: Unearth - Watchers of Rule

iswimfast
July 22nd 2014


1346 Comments


do we actually like coconut dracula

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 22nd 2014


15743 Comments


Might be the first time "Islanders" and "Winner" have been used in the same sentence.

Franki3love
July 22nd 2014


21 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Honestly this is one of the best reviews I've read on here. I've listen to this album a couple times. I back this to it's fullest.

iswimfast
July 22nd 2014


1346 Comments


seriously though the chorus doesn't go anywhere

clander270
July 22nd 2014


178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sounds kinda like ADTR or similar bands with more of a Deftones-y influence. Not really seeing what's so great and different about this album but it's certainly not bad.

FadedSun
July 22nd 2014


1317 Comments


"exotic time signatures conceived from the aftermath of Yahtzee dice rolls" - I laughed.



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